Skip to main content

2016 Fall Mountain Trip Part 16; Arches National Park and the first Utah State Route 93

After returning to US Route 191 from Utah State Route 313 I turned south towards Moab and Arches National Park.


This blog serves as Part 16 of the 2016 Fall Mountain Trip Series; Part 15 can be found here:

2016 Fall Mountain Trip Part 15; A Dead Horse of course and Utah State Route 313

Modern access to Arches National Park from US Route 191 is via the Arches Scenic Drive which is located slightly north of the Colorado River and UT 279.  From the entrance station of Arches National Park the Arches Scenic Drive climbs above the Moab Fault and provides a vista of US 191.


Access to Arches National Park used to be via the first Utah State Route 93.  UT 93 used to run from what was US 160 (modern US 191) directly east into Arches National Monument along Willow Springs Road.  UT 93 would enter Arches National Monument approximately where the Balanced Rock Trailhead Parking Lot is located now.  Former UT 93 is still a maintained roadway and is listed as Bureau of Land Management Route 378 on most maps.  The Arches Scenic Drive first appears on topographical maps sometime between 1952 and 1960, the current UT 93 designation on the I-15 corridor dates back to 1961.  The original UT 93 can be observed entering Arches National Monument on this 1950 State Highway Map.

1950 State Highway Map

Arches National Park was first designated as a National Monument back in 1929.  The National Monument was designated as a National Park by 1971 and is quite popular with an annual draw near two million visitors.  The signature attraction of Arches National Park is the natural sandstone arches which are a common sight.  Arches National Park is largely known for the Delicate Arch which also happens to appear on the Utah State License Plate.  The Delicate Arch is located in the north end of Arches National Park on the Delicate Arch Trail.  Given that the Delicate Arch Trail is extremely popular I made my way up Arches Scenic Drive and Delicate Arch Road upon entering the park to make sure I could find a place to park at the trailhead.  While the Delicate Arch Trail is steep the sandstone surface actually made for good enough footing that I found it was somewhat manageable to run.




Located at the of bottom the Delicate Arch Trail is the remains of Wolfe Ranch which was settled along Salt Wash in the late 1800s.  The cabin building apparently dates back to 1906, kind of hard to envision how remote the ranch would have been during the time period.






From the Delicate Arch I returned to Arches Scenic Drive and drove north to the Devil's Garden area of Arches National Park.  I spent a good part of the day looking for arches out in the northern extent of Arches National Park.  Among the arches I found out on the hiking trails were the Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch




Heading back southbound on Arches Scenic Drive I stopped at the Fiery Furnace Vista which overlooks a formation of eroded sandstone hoodoos.


As mentioned above UT 93 used to enter Arches National Monument at the trailhead parking for Balanced Rock.


Probably the most scenic vista on Arches Scenic Drive is at the La Sal Mountains Viewpoint.  Not only does the viewpoint overlook the La Sal Range but also Courthouse Towers and Park Avenue.  If the view seems familiar it might be due to the fact that it was featured in the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


After returning to US 191 I continued south through Moab towards Blanding.  My next stop was to the west at Natural Bridges National Monument.

Part 17 of this blog series can be found here:

2016 Fall Mountain Trip Part 17; Natural Bridges National Monument and Utah State Route 275

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Old NY 10 and Goodman Mountain in the Adirondacks

  Old highway alignments come in all shapes and sizes, as well as taking some different forms after their lifespan of serving cars and trucks has ended. In the case of an old alignment of what was NY 10 south of Tupper Lake, New York, part of the old road was turned into part of a hiking trail to go up Goodman Mountain. At one time, the road passed by Goodman Mountain to the east, or Litchfield Mountain as it was known at the time. As the years passed, sometime around 1960, the part of NY 10 north of Speculator became part of NY 30, and remains that way today from Speculator, past Indian Lake and Tupper Lake and up to the Canadian Border. At one time, the highway was realigned to pass the Goodman Mountain to the west, leaving this stretch of road to be mostly forgotten and to be reclaimed by nature. During the summer of 2014, a 1.6 mile long hiking trail was approved the Adirondack Park Agency to be constructed to the summit of the 2,176 foot high Goodman Mountain. For the first 0.9 mi

Oregon State Highway 58

  Also known as the Willamette Highway No. 18, the route of Oregon State Highway 58 (OR 58) stretches some 86 miles between US 97 north of Chemult and I-5 just outside of Eugene, Oregon. A main route between the Willamette Valley region of Oregon with Central Oregon and Crater Lake National Park, the highway follows the Middle Fork Willamette River and Salt Creek for much of its route as it makes its way to and across the Cascades, cresting at 5,138 feet above sea level at Willamette Pass. That is a gain of over 4,500 in elevation from where the highway begins at I-5. The upper reaches of OR 58 are dominated by the principal pinnacle that can sometimes be seen from the highway, Diamond Peak, and three nearby lakes, Crescent, Odell and Waldo (Oregon's second largest lake). OR 58 is chock full of rivers, creeks, mountain views, hot springs and waterfalls within a short distance from the highway. OR 58 was numbered as such by the Oregon State Highway Department in 1940. OR 58 is a del

Siuslaw River Bridge - US 101 in Florence, Oregon

  As the Oregon Coast Highway (US 101) was being completed across the State of Oregon during the 1930s, a number of bridges needed to be built to cross some of the state's finest rivers. In Florence, Oregon , the Siuslaw River Bridge was designed and constructed to help fill in the gaps between different coastal communities. Built in 1936, the Siuslaw River Bridge is a bascule bridge flanked by two reinforced concrete arches that spans across the Siuslaw River. The bridge and the river get their names from the Siuslaw tribal people who make their home along the river valleys of this part of the Oregon Coast. Today, the bridge provides a vital link connecting US 101 and the Central Oregon Coast to points north and south. The total length of the Siuslaw River Bridge is 1,568 feet, stretching across the river. But more specifically, the bridge is made up of a north approach with eight spans of reinforced concrete deck girder totaling 478 feet in length. There is a main span in three